In 2016, the Cochrane Canada Centre formalized a move from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) to its original home of McMaster University – widely acknowledged as the home of evidence-based medicine.
The Centre supports Cochrane initiatives across the country by conducting education activities, functioning as the communications and knowledge brokering lead for Cochrane Canada, and advocating for the use of evidence in decision-making within Canada.
Dr. Holger Schünemann is Chair of the of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact - formerly the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics - at McMaster University. His scientific work focuses on evidence synthesis, quality of life research and the presentation and development of healthcare recommendations spanning clinical medicine to public health. As a key contributor to the revised methods for the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline development in 2006 and the Institute of Medicine statement on trustworthy guidelines in 2011, he led the reshaping of practice guideline development methodology. He has been an advisor to ministries of health, other governmental organizations and professional societies for their guideline programs. He is co-chair of the GRADE working group, for which he coined the name and plays a vital role in disseminating its spirit of collaboration, openness and advancement of evidence assessment and the creation of better healthcare recommendations.
Dr. John Lavis holds the Canada Research Chair in Evidence-Informed Health Systems. He is the Director of the McMaster Health Forum, Co-Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Evidence-Informed Policy, Associate Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Associate Member of the Department of Political Science at McMaster University. He is also Adjunct Professor of Global Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on how to support the use of research evidence in health policymaking, both in high-income countries like Canada and in a broad range of countries internationally. He founded and continues to direct the McMaster Health Forum, Health Systems Evidence and Health Systems Learning and he leads one of the five teams contributing to the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal. He is Co-Chair of the WHO-sponsored Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Global Steering Group and a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research. He holds an MD from Queen's University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a PhD (in Health Policy) from Harvard University.
Dr. Nancy Santesso has been involved with and a strong supporter of the Cochrane Collaboration since 2002. In addition to her role as Deputy Director of Cochrane Canada, she is a member of the Governing Board of the Cochrane Collaboration, and editor of the Cochrane Consumers and Communication Review Group. She is a Registered Dietitian by background and Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact at McMaster University. There, in the Health Research Methods graduate program, she coordinates the systematic review course. She has also provided training in Cochrane systematic reviews for over more than a decade. Since 2009, she has been a member of the GRADE Working Group - a group dedicated to the rigorous development of clinical practice guidelines and the use of evidence from systematic reviews in guidelines. She has trained guideline developers and facilitated guideline panel meetings using the GRADE approach for the World Health Organization (WHO) and other professional organizations nationally and internationally. Her research interests include the engagement of patients and the public in evidence synthesis and use, and the communication of evidence to patients and the public as plain language summaries of systematic reviews and as patient versions of guidelines.
Laura Burnett comes to her role as Managing Director, Cochrane Canada with a broad range of experience that extends across Canada and Australia. Laura completed her undergraduate training at McMaster University graduating from the BScN program and subsequently completed her MPH at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
Most recently, Laura has held a position as the Director of Cancer Support Programs for the Ontario Division of the Canadian Cancer Society. In this role she has been responsible for a large team of staff working across several national cancer support programs. Prior to that, Laura completed several complex projects in the health and human services areas having been engaged as a Healthcare Consultant for a firm based in Australia/New Zealand. In addition, Laura has had the opportunity to work in clinical trials infrastructure, contribute to research projects as a Research Associate and has worked to develop and deliver new oncology support programming.